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Whether for personal consumption or agricultural purposes, you process seeds to make them clean and maximize yield. Seed processing equipment includes the steps of polishing, threshing, separation, sorting, and drying. Some cases require additional processes. For example, the extraction of the seed from fruits or vegetables. Or, pressing the seed to extract oil.

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The cross-pollination trick: hybrid seeds for improved performance

You can use hybrid seed processing to improve the crops characteristics. This is done to achieve better yield, uniformity, and create resistance to plant diseases. Hybrids are more expensive due to the careful selection of plants for cross-pollination. But also, the time required to grow and produce seeds.

You produce hybrid seeds through cross-pollination of two specific, but different varieties. Usually to combine the desired characteristics in each of them. For example, one tomato plant may withstand longer times with less water. While the other produces tomatoes vigorously. By crossing both varieties, you can get hybrid seeds from the resulting tomato. These seeds may turn to plants that are able to withstand longer times with less water while producing tomatoes vigorously. However, the next generation of seeds produced by hybrid plants will consistently have the same desired characteristics. Therefore, you can engineer the seed to your desired output of your crop.

Seed processing to pellet tiny and irregular-shaped seeds

Whether your seed is a hybrid or regular, you probably need to pellet them first. Small and irregular-shaped seeds are difficult to handle when sowing them in equal spaces. So they are pelleted to a size that can easily be seen and handled for further seed processing. Pelleting starts by applying a wetting agent to the seed in a rotating drum. Then you add a mix primarily composed of clay. which gradually coats the seed as the drum continues to rotate. This is done until it achieves the desired size. For quality control, you separate the samples of pelleted seeds according to size. By straining them through metal screens or a gravity separator (also called an aspirator), before you subject them to dissolvability and durability tests. These tests ensure the coating dissolves easily in water. But, is durable enough to withstand fragmentation during shipping. Before this process occurs, the seeds need to be cleaned with an Air cleaner machine. But, polishing the seeds is also a process needed to improve germination success.

Getting strong seeds: treatments to prevent diseases

Seeds undergo treatments to prevent diseases and keep away pests. Chemical seed treatment typically consists of applying pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, etc. Using specialised equipment, you usually apply these chemicals as dust or film coatings. And in some cases, as pellets. You can also apply other substances to make the seed strong. Substances such as growth stimulants and other micronutrients. Most treated seeds also come in different coated colors. This is used as an indicator that the seeds are chemically treated and are not to be consumed or used as feeds.

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